The Mayor of Atlanta has just announced that it will no longer require job applicants to disclose their pay history. Such requests often perpetuate wage discrimination and may trap employees in a never-ending cycle of lower earnings. For example, if a female is underpaid in one job, and a subsequent employer bases her new salary off of prior earnings, an employer may continue to underpay the employee – whether intentionally or not. Eliminating the prior pay question will hopefully lead to employers paying workers based on their qualifications, rather than their pay history.
The mayor noted in a recent pay equity article, "Closing the wage gap and prioritizing equal pay policies helps ensure Citywide economic parity and moves us closer to a more equitable One Atlanta.”
While various federal and state laws exist that promote pay equity, in practice, significant wage gaps persist. These laws include the Equal Pay Act, which protects against pay discrimination by making it illegal to pay one worker more than another for “substantially equal” work. Further, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex. Despite these laws, women continue to earn less than men, making roughly 80% of what men do for the same job. The wage gap is wider for women of color.
Atlanta's decision to end the "prior pay" question is a step in the right direction toward pay equity.
For more information or if you believe you have suffered pay discrimination or any other type of employment discrimination, please contact the experienced Atlanta wage discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.